The weather turned out to be great for the Parade this year. Sights and sounds were similar to past years but I thought I caught a glimpse of AR's own Beth Forbes but she turned away before I could snap a confirmation photo. My wife came along this year so we just found a little piece of ground and watched for awhile. Usually I prefer to move around and take in the less noticed sights so instead of dwelling on the marchers I'll revisit the more interesting adventure from a previous year.
Upon my arrival the smell of beer and cigarettes was thick as was the crowd, maybe 10 feet wide with a few watching the parade and others attempting to travel in both directions. The push was slow. My next half hour was spent flowing north squeezed into a sea of college girls & Gen-X'ers. Guess with people my age the logical side of the brain usually wins so they avoid the crowd.
About mid-block fists started flying and an opening suddenly emerged, lucky me...eye to eye with the big guy! His wife or girlfriend had hold of his shirt as he thrashed around trying to break loose, I started pounding his upper arm with an open hand yelling mellow out dude...he turned, grabbed his woman and started screaming in her face. For a few seconds I was paralyzed in thought, grabbing this guy now would surely escalate the situation. Fortunately he settled down as the push and screams from behind me started moving the crowd forward again. Reflecting back it dawned on my how ill prepared I was for action, I was wearing glasses! They could have broke...
Funny how times have changed, when I reached the mellow area I notice I was surrounded by what once may have been considered "Outlaw Bikers". All hanging in harmony - Hells Angels, James Gang, Hole in the Wall, Brothers of The Rock, the general population and Dan The Running Man
After the isolated outburst I witnessed upon arriving the afternoon was quite civilized. Never did meet up with my son though, his cell went right into voice mail and I was stepping into the parking garage after the parade when he returned my call. Just as well, gave me a chance to watch as a silent observer and enabled me to get several photos I may have missed.
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